I turned on the television the other day and all of a sudden I felt like I was back in junior high in the mid-‘00s when I found “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on TV. However, this episode wasn’t a re-run from the American improvisational comedy series that ran from 1998-2007 on ABC, or even the original British version of the show that preceded it for 10 years before. Nope. This was a brand new episode almost six years after the original American version of the show ended.
It felt good to see some old friends again in Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles and Wayne Brady all who have returned to the series for its rebirth on the CW, which premiered on Tuesday, July 16. They even brought back many of the show’s old games for the premiere including Scenes From a Hat, Let’s Make a Date, Dubbing and Living Scenery, which fans from the old series will no doubt remember well.
The only seemingly main difference between the CW version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and the old ABC version is the host. Aisha Tyler has joined the series as host instead of Drew Carey, who was almost certainly too busy with his day job as host of the longtime CBS game show “The Price is Right” to return to the show. Other than this difference, which is no doubt a sizeable one as Carey is more humorous than Tyler, the show is essentially the same one that fans knew from 1998-2007.
Mochrie, Stiles and Brady were joined in the first episode by comedian Gary Anthony Williams, who offered up some of the premiere’s most hilarious bits while also playing sort of second-fiddle to the three returning stars. Williams will return to the show later in the season. Other comedians that will be joining the original trio this season are Heather Anne Campbell, Jonathan Mangum and Keegan Michael Key, of Comedy Central’s hilarious sketch comedy show “Key & Peele,” who I’m most excited to see match improv wits with Brady, Mochrie and Stiles. There’s no word on whether or not some old friends like Brad Sherwood or Greg Proops might join the show for an episode.
As for the humor, if you remember the show from before, it’s all completely made up or improvised on the spot which can lead to moments of insane hilarity and moments where the humor unfortunately falls flat – that is just the pros and cons of improvisational humor. However, the show does seem to keep the viewer laughing more often than not.
Bringing back “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” which has a devoted following even after six years off of television, for a summer run was a genius decision on the part of the CW. Almost three million people tuned in for the premiere episode, which is big time numbers for the CW, especially during the summer.
“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” is a nice half-hour of mostly wholesome, family entertainment filled with many laugh out loud moments that may have tears of laughter rolling down your face. It’s also a nice bit of nostalgia to hang out with Mochrie, Stiles and Brady again once a week after all these years.
“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” airs locally on CWARK Conway Corp. channel 24 on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.